Friday, April 3, 2009
From left: Robert Stevens, Stevens' book, Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin and Glen Bui.
Robert J. Stevens
Washington D.C. - On March 20, 2009, the defense team of Robert J. Stevens filed a Brief in Opposition for the pending United States Supreme Court's hearing of his case. In January 2005, Stevens was the first person found guilty of selling depictions of animal cruelty (dogfighting videos) under the 1999 federal animal cruelty law. He was sentenced to 37 months in prison. He appealed the case, which was subsequently overturned by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The U.S. government appealed the Circuit Court ruling and the case currently lies before the United States Supreme Court.1The Brief in Opposition filed by the defense reveals information about Stevens' original trial. Two of the three people mentioned in the Brief were members of the American Canine Foundation (ACF): Expert Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin and acting ACF Vice President, Glen Bui. The document describes the ACF as an organization working to "end animal cruelty," when in fact, the organization is a pit bull special interest group that sues municipalities that enact pit bull laws.
During Stevens' trial, the ACF was actively engaged in litigation against Denver and Aurora regarding their pit bull bans, as well as the State of Ohio (Toledo v. Tellings) regarding their pit bull law. Glen Bui testified in the Stevens' trial that, "Mr. Stevens' films were 'extremely educational' and had serious historical value documenting the history of dogfighting and its cultural role in Japan." The jury rejected the defense's testimony and convicted Stevens in 45 minutes.
Why would a pro-pit bull group (working to "end animal cruelty") testify on behalf of a person that sold depictions of dogfighting?Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, an expert witness for the ACF, also testified that the videos had serious "educational value." Brisbin is often quoted by pit bull advocates to dispel the "locking jaw" reputation pit bulls have gained, as well as the "pounds per square inch" bite power equation. Brisbin is a hog hunter (see: hog hunting video), and as recently as 2007, testified on behalf of Ivan Ruiz, an alleged dog and cock fighter. After reviewing injury photos of Rivera's pit bull, Brisbin said:
"Those marks were more likely caused during a fence fight in which dogs will chew their way through a wood fence for better access. Fence fights are just a curse of owning a dog." Brisbin also said a treadmill, sticks used to separate dogs, wire muzzles, chains, harness and animal fighting publications found in Rivera's home are typical for dog breeders and kennel owners."The American Canine Foundation now joins: Stop-BSL.com (Allie Renar), Responsible Dog Owners of the Eastern States (Sandra, Sandi Coy), Georgia American Pit Bull Terrier Club (Jere Alexander), Appalachian Pit Bull Club (Ed Faron), and the All American Dog Registry (Terry T. L. Williams) as anti-BSL organizations that DogsBite.org can tie to persons charged with (or convicted of) dogfighting related or animal cruelty crimes. These links, however, are just a snapshot of the larger picture.
United States of American v. Robert J. Stevens
Brief in Opposition
March 20, 2009
"At trial, Mr. Stevens presented expert testimony that each of the documentaries has substantial educational or historical value. Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Senior Ecologist and Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia, testified that each of the documentaries has serious educational value. C.A. App. 563, 579, 580, 582. Dr. Brisbin stated that he would use "Japan Pit Fights" and "Pick-A-Winna: A Pit Bull Documentary" in his teaching and testimony before governmental bodies to demonstrate that Pit Bulls can be trained to relate to humans even after they have participated in hunting or fighting. Id. at 582. Dr. Brisbin also testified that "Catch Dogs and Country Living" teaches Pit Bull owners the "responsibility to do things right" if they choose to train their dogs for hunting. Id. at 582.
Michael Riddle, a recognized expert in large-game hunting, C.A. App. 599-600, stated that he thought "Catch Dogs and Country Living" was "very educational" because it informs hunters how to train their dogs for hunting and prepares them for the errors that dogs can make. C.A. App. 604-605.
Glen Bui, acting Vice-President of the American Canine Foundation, an organization working to "end animal cruelty," Bui Dep. at 13:19-20, testified that Mr. Stevens' films were "extremely educational" and had serious historical value documenting the history of dog fighting and its cultural role in Japan. Id. at 13:32-34.1 He also explained that images from Mr. Stevens' films had been extracted and used by animal rights organizations to campaign against dog fighting. Id. at 14:12-13.
After hearing that testimony, the jury was instructed, over Mr. Stevens' objection, that the statutory exception for images with "serious" religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical or artistic value applies only to images that are "significant and of great import." C.A. App. 641, 647.
The jury then convicted Mr. Stevens on three counts of violating 18 U.S.C. § 48. Pet. App. 4a. Mr. Stevens was sentenced to 37 months of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release. Ibid.
4. a. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit sua sponte heard the case en banc. The court then ruled that Section 48 is a facially unconstitutional content-based prohibition on speech that violApp. 1a-63a."
02/06/09: Katrina Rescue Fraud: Dogs Hijacked by "Trainers" and Pit Bull Advocates
01/08/09: Animal Cruelty Law Tests Free Speech: Dogfighting Videos
12/24/08: Anti-BSL Organization, Stop-BSL.com, Gives Donated Funds to Alleged...
12/12/08: Edward Faron of Wildside Kennels Has Been Charged by Authorities
11/15/08: AJC: Director Signs Out 83 Cats; APBT Group Linked to Dogfighters
04/05/08: Charged Bloodsport Breeder, T.L. Williams, Still in Business
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| 4/03/2009 2:37 AM |
Hard to believe someone can actually make a living being a "Pit Grifter". For some reason vulnerable Pit Bull owners send these types donations instead of buying liability insurance.
Yee Haw! Let's go Hog Doggin!
| 4/03/2009 2:51 AM |
Brisbin said: "animal fighting publications found in Rivera's home are typical for dog breeders and kennel owners ." Decent breeders would not be caught dead with such materials, nor would they ever have any interest in them. Testifying in the Ruiz trial was truly a new low for Brisbin.
| 4/03/2009 7:02 AM |
The so called "Responsible" Pit Bull community deplores dog fighting...wink...wink ..
I almost teared up when the nutters showed up at the candlelight vigil for the wildside kennel bust dogs. The main organizer wore the hat of a twice convicted dogfighter.
They just dont get it...
| 4/03/2009 9:58 AM |
These groups are BUSINESS LOBBIES.
They were formed to protect the financial interests of pit bull breeders and pit bull fighters.
They oppose regulation to protect the BUSINESS of pit bulls.
They fraudulently try to claim they are interested in animal welfare. They aren't. They are interested in MONEY from animals.
You will also see the pro-puppy mill lobbyist Patti Strand of the AKC http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Patti_Strand trying to claim she runs an "animal welfare" organization and trying to trick reporters and legislators.
Patti Strand lobbies with a lot of these pit bull breeders, and many dog fighters have links to her NAIA on their sites.
And now some of these people are involved with Best Friends.
| 4/03/2009 1:04 PM |
What an interesting and diverse cast of characters!
Stevens looks like you might find him with a wide stance in an airport men's room or possibly in a book about serial killers-creepy looking guy! Brisban has that all american boyish look with a grin and sweater that isn't fooling anyone, and Bui, he looks like he is dressed for a mafia whistle blower interview on 60 minutes.
Anyone remember what the board of directors looked like for Rocky and Jere Alexander's dogfighting shrine, pitarchives.org?
Tom Garner, pit bull breeder & convicted dog fighter
Dr. Anna Grimshaw, anthropologist Emory University in Atlanta
Terry Williams (AADR), convicted dog fighter
John Koerner, second generation pit breeder and dog fighter (California Jack was invited but I don't know if he ever accepted or if the site was shut down before he could join)
Higher education and psychopathy are not mutually exclusive.
Has anyone ever heard of anthropologists studying the cultures of rapists or murderers or pedophiles?
| 4/03/2009 1:42 PM |
It will be interesting to see what action the Supreme Court takes. Does anyone here know about the images that Bui refers to: "He also explained that images from Mr. Stevens' films had been extracted and used by animal rights organizations to campaign against dog fighting."
Even Diane Jessup throws Stevens under the bus:
DOGS OF VELVET AND STEEL:
"Well, what can I say? From the fighting dogs on the cover you might get a hint where this author is coming from. Mr. Stevens was busted in 2005 for selling illegal depictions of dog fighting with his videos one of which was called "Pick a winna". Another showed a dog slowly tearing a barnyard pig's lower jaw off, eventually killing the animal. He also advocated the use of pit bulls as attack dogs. So, you decide if you think you can learn anything constructive from this guy."
| 4/03/2009 3:38 PM |
Another ACF failure:
January 17, 2008 - American Canine Foundation v. Ben Sun
The District Court rejected all of the ACF's claims.
"In 2006, the Board of Supervisors for Los Angeles County unanimously elected to adopt an ordinance that allows for the mandatory spaying and neutering of dogs within the unincorporated areas of L.A. County. The ordinance was carefully drafted to allow exceptions to the ordinance in certain circumstances such as competition dogs, and unlike many similar laws previously drafted, the L.A. County ordinance did not single out any particular breed for application. Shortly thereafter, The American Canine Foundation filed a claim with the U.S. District Court..."
"It is important to note that the decision of the Court showed a strong belief that it was well within the powers of the legislature to impose laws on animal owners if they can any way be related to the safety of the public at large, stating that "any private interest in the ownership of unaltered dogs is subject to more limited procedural protections." The Court also recited a Supreme Court decision, Sentell v. New Orleans, more than once within its own opinion. Noteworthy from that opinion is "Even if it was assumed that dogs are property in the fullest sense of the word, they would still be subject to the police power of the state, and might be destroyed or otherwise dealt with, as in the judgment of the legislature is necessary for the protection of its citizens." This decision in itself will most likely keep the present issue from ever being brought again before the Supreme Court."
| 9/01/2009 6:29 AM |
Some of the Nutter groups are circulating that this post has been taken down due to threat of a lawsuit...It clearly has not!
I guess they are looking for any kind of victory to dupe the weak minded nutters into sending money.
Note to Nutters: DBO is not your enemy...The Dog fighters and breeders pumping out unstable maulers in criminally irresponsible numbers are. Wake up!
| 1/13/2012 5:32 AM |
Update: Dog fighting video games are now be sold legally and dog fighting videos are flying off the shelves in Philly:
Another blood money opprtunity has been created by the dogmen!